The purpose of this manifesto is to discuss how England might be taken over and indefinitely held by the political right.
I mean by this term that consensus which is emerging in the English-speaking world between libertarians and traditionalist conservatives. It is not consistent in the ideological sense. Nor are its constituent parts agreed in all particulars. But it is united by a common vision. What we on the right want England to become can be summarised in the opening words of A.J.P. Taylor's English History: 1914-1945:
Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card.... [B]roadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.
We want this back.. Of course, it will be different next time. There will be the Internet and space travel and life extension, and - without prejudice to any moral code that may be accepted in public - there will be none of those laws about sex that our ancestors wasted so much time on passing and trying to enforce. There will be other changes as the circumstances may require. But we want the past back in the sense that we want to be free again—free to live as we please without having to explain ourselves to the authorities, and without having to seek permission from them, and without having to hand over much of our income in taxes and fees to pay for the enlarged, supervisory state under which we are now compelled to live. We also want back the sense of place and unforced pride in community that is inseparable from living in a free society.
That is what we wanted from the Conservative Governments that held office between 1979 and 1997. It was not delivered, and was never really on offer. The Conservatives did not dismantle big government, but saved it by making it more efficient. They did not cut taxes, but stabilised them as a share of national income. They did not stop the policy of cultural demolition, but let it continue with accelerating force. Beyond this, they put our Common Law freedoms through a legislative shredding machine, and tricked us into joining a European superstate. For all their occasional rhetoric, their project had nothing to do with rolling back the frontiers of the State.
A Question of Class
In part, this was because most of the Conservative leaders were not of the right. All they wanted was the smoothly corporate state that they eventually created and then handed to New Labour. In part, though, it was because those few leaders who were of the right had no understanding of the class war waged against them. If they did think about class, they dismissed it as just another failed socialist idea —rather like nationalisation and price controls. But there is nothing specifically socialist about class and class conflict. They are discussed by both conservative and liberal thinkers—from Aristotle to Pareto, From Adam Smith to Murray Rothbard and Chris Tmae—and are essential for understanding how societies function. Loosely defined, a class is any group of people who conceive their interests to be different from those of the wider community. In this sense, the Conservatives may have won four general elections, but they still chose to share power with a distinct and nearly always hostile class.
The Class Enemy
What I will call the Enemy Class exists in and around the public sector. It comprises the great majority of those administrators, lawyers, experts, educators and media people whose living is connected with the State. Its leading members are people like Anthony Giddens, Greg Dyke, Elspeth Howe, Mary Warnock, Polly Toynbee, Peter Mandelson, and others. They articulate and advance the interests of perhaps a million other people—from television producers and heads of executive agencies, down through the university lecturers and social workers and white collar bureaucrats, to the lowest grades of civil servant and local government officer. Add to the list all the racism awareness and anti-aids consultants and the workers in those non-government organisations that receive money and status from or via the State.
These are the people who really govern the country. They are the ones who decide what statistics to gather and how and when to publish them. They decide what problems can be identified and what solutions can be discussed. They advise on policy and implement policy. Because of their numbers and education and beliefs, and the formal and informal bonds that hold them to each other, and because of their ability and willingness to give and withhold benefits, they set the tone of society. They can require not only external conformity to their will, but can even to some extent shape the public mind so that conformity seems right and natural. They provide the boundaries and language of debate. They define the heretics and schismatics, and arrange for them to be persecuted. They are the modern equivalent of an established church. More precisely, they are what Coleridge called the Clerisy.
They are the Enemy Class by virtue of their legitimising ideologies. While many of these contradict each other, and while some may overlap at their fringes with positions accepted on some parts of the right, they all have in common that they are essentially ideologies of state activism. It is belief in an active, interfering state that justifies the collective power, money and status of the Enemy Class. And though some conservatives still romanticise state power, the activism we have faced for at least the past hundred years has been directed almost wholly to the destruction of both freedom and tradition. Using various justifications—national efficiency, racial hygiene, socialism, the war on drugs, environmentalism, "modernisation", to name only a few—the Enemy Class has taxed and watched and controlled us. It has abolished organic, voluntary forms of association, and replaced them with bureaucratic centralism. It has obliterated old boundaries and jurisdictions. It has remodelled the currency, and is now fanatically trying to impose the metric system. At the same time, it is merging what remains of our Constitution into the unaccountable power structures of the European Union and the New World Order.
But its main justifications at the moment—its main legitimising ideologies—are political correctness and multiculturalism. These are still occasionally dressed in liberal clothing, and, as with any legitimising ideology, are sincerely believed by much of the Enemy Class. Nevertheless, the effect of their public acceptance is further empowerment of the Enemy Class. This is because what is promised cannot be delivered. The most that can be expected between groups separated by substantial differences is mutual tolerance. The joyous celebration of diversity and longing for absolute equality that we are all encouraged to share is against human nature. Nor is it likely that anything like equality will obtain between groups that differ widely in culture, religion, age distribution, and other important respects. But while the reality cannot exist, the appearance can be imposed. Therefore the vast structure of monitoring and interference that has grown up in the past generation. Therefore the intrusion into matters that had always previously been considered beyond state control. Therefore the increase of jobs and status for the Enemy Class.
Moreover, enforcing the multicultural fantasy has made talk of heresy and schism more than figurative. Dissent from the fantasy is punished by banishment from the media, by loss of job or promotion, by official harassment and surveillance, occasionally by being made too dangerous to be seen with, and sometimes even by prison. If this treatment were confined to a few national socialists, it would still be objectionable. But the witchhunt is being gradually extended to cover the expression of all views opposed to the interests of the Enemy Class. Libertarian arguments from abstract right are still respectable. It is not so with the more powerful—because more easily understood—arguments from ancestral right. Increasingly, any appeal to history or tradition against the Enemy Class is blocked by smearing these as somehow shameful. Even references to the English people are being made disreputable; and there are proposals to change the name of the country to something more in keeping with our new "diversity". An entire language of resistance to tyranny is being stripped from us.
The Role of the Media
The most prominent means of control is through the media. Though the newspapers are formally independent, their owners and editors know their interests well enough to permit only a limited range of dissident views. It is much the same with the formally private—but licensed and regulated—electronic media. The BBC, however, is wholly controlled by the Enemy Class. In the past few years, it has dropped any pretence of objectivity, and is now openly biased in favour of the Labour Party and the European Union. Its Director General and chief political correspondent are friends of the Prime Minister. Its news coverage has become almost Soviet in its bias. Its discussion programmes are little more than rigged panels talking in front of rigged audiences about matters and on assumptions quite alien to the concerns of ordinary people. But the bias extends far beyond news and current affairs, and far deeper than any merely political networking. The BBC is fundamentally hostile to freedom and tradition. Its consumer affairs programmes and exposure documentaries universally proclaim the need for the firm but gentle hand of state regulation. Its historical documentaries are overwhelmingly concerned with issues like slavery, colonialism, oppression of women and homosexuals, poverty, and the general nastiness of the old ruling class. Its most popular entertainment programmes preach a daily sermon on the uselessness of individual effort and self-reliance, and encourage intellectual passivity and conformity. In all its activities, the prime function of the BBC is to engineer consent to the hegemonic status of the Enemy Class.
And it is with this class that the Conservatives shared power during 18 years. The fraud and hypocrisy of most Conservative leaders aside, it is not surprising that so little was achieved. The only policies carried wholeheartedly into effect were those that advanced or at least did not undermine the interests of the Enemy Class. All others were smothered or subverted. I recall, for example, the concerns raised in the mid-1980s about the socialist propaganda that had replaced actual teaching in many state schools. The Government asked the officials in the Department of Education to do something about this. The result was a National Curriculum that imposed central —and therefore Enemy Class—control on nearly every classroom in the country. Again, one of the few really libertarian measures of the 1980s was mental health reform. The lunatic asylums were shut down and the mostly sane inmates sent away to restart their lives. A great cry of horror went up across the Enemy Class. Programme after programme was made portraying as normal the difficulties of a minority of the released. Every fact usable against the policy was hunted down and manufactured into headline news. Thousands of "mental health experts" compiled dubious statistics, and these were received and passed on without contradiction. The words "care into the community" became a joke; and there is no serious opposition reported now to the Labour scheme to reopen the asylums and fill them with inmates chosen on the word of any two doctors and a social worker.
What is to be Done?
So what is to be done? The correct answer may be nothing. Perhaps we have lost in this country without hope of recovery. But let us assume for the sake of argument that the next few years of Labour Government will not be utterly disastrous, and that a government of the right emerges from the election after next blessed with a good majority. For all these may seem unlikely assumptions, let us remain with them, and see what could be done.
We could accept the inevitability in the short term of sharing power with the Enemy Class. Like the Thatcher Government in its better days, we could try conciliating it and persuading it, and playing it off one faction against the other, in the hope that the Internet and the decline of its legitimising ideologies would one day reduce its power. The problem with this approach is that it carries a high risk of failure. If we wait for any natural decline of the Enemy Class, it may not leave us with very much to save. Also, it might well prove less reasonable with us than it often did in the 1980s - then, after all, it was divided over economic policy. We might find it flatly opposed to everything we wanted to do. Certainly, it would resist withdrawal from the European Union. We would have to face down an army of interest groups, all with privileged access to the media. If we did get our way, we would be hounded with every adverse statistic and comparison that could be constructed. We would eventually lose power to a government controlled by the Enemy Class that would hold a referendum every two years until the country rejoined. And this would happen on one of the core issues of the right. On other issues, it might not matter what mandate we could show. Our government would exist on sufferance.
On the whole, I would prefer a more radical programme. Moderation has its place, but not here. Given a reliable majority, I would not bother regarding the Enemy Class as an unavoidable ally in government. I would regard it as Margaret Thatcher did the unions - as an enemy crying out to be smashed.
Smashing the Class Enemy
I suggest that within days of coming into power, we ought to shut down large parts of the public sector. We should abolish the Foreign Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Department of Education and Training, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, plus whole divisions of other ministries. We should shut down most of local government - especially anything to do with child welfare, consumer protection, racial equality, and town and country planning. At the same time, we should abolish all the statutory agencies. This includes English Heritage, the Arts Council, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Health and Safety Executive, whatever has replaced the Health Education Authority, the Serious Fraud Office, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, all the regional development councils, and all the "self-financing regulatory agencies" without exception. The fact that I have mentioned some organisations and not others does not indicate that these others are to be saved: the schedule to our Act of Abolition and Repeal should run to hundreds of pages. We should abolish functions, destroy records, sell off physical assets, and sack people by the tens of thousand. Pension rights could be respected according to law, but at least a third of government should no longer exist after our first month in power.
The chief purpose of what I suggest is not to save money for the taxpayers, or to free them from a bureaucratic tyranny. Though libertarians will think these desirable ends, and though they will undoubtedly prove beneficial after a few initial difficulties, they do not commend themselves equally to all sections of the right, some of which will think more about the difficulties than the benefits. The chief purpose is to destroy the Enemy Class. Moving as fast as we can, we must abolish as much as we can of its institutional means of action and support. What makes a sinking ship such good drama is the collapse of hierarchy and every other relationship that it sometimes involves. The connections that normally hold people to each other in effective groups are severed, and what was a stable society is dissolved into a terrified mob—some fighting desperately to get into the few lifeboats, others clinging to broken spars, others drowning in quiet despair. That is what we should be planning to do to the Enemy Class. Dealing with one institution at a time sounds the more sensible and moderate approach. In fact, it would only lead to a series of set piece battles, in every one of which the Enemy Class could deploy its full weight against us. The general shipwreck that I suggest is far more likely to succeed. People who are on the dole, or working 14 hours a day in telesales to pay mortgages—and whose friends and contacts are nearly all in the same position—will have lost their ability to oppose or delay us. Their verbal opposition, though loud, would be no louder than if we did nothing. So long as we kept our heads, any violence could be easily suppressed. Nor do I think there would be much procedural opposition. Once we were out of the European Union—our very first public act—the courts would again be subordinate to the Queen in Parliament: we could legislate, relegislate, and legislate again to get our way. As for the new House of Lords, it has no legitimacy as an upper house, and we should make sure to pack it with our own supporters. We could win.
The BBC and Other Media
The same considerations should guide our media policy. We should take the BBC permanently off air. I accept that it has existed long enough and been prominent enough to qualify as an historic institution. I also accept that, bias aside, it probably is the best broadcasting organisation in the world. But I see no alternative to shutting it down. Anyone who thinks it can be captured and firmly governed by our people is dreaming. There are not enough of us with the necessary technical and managerial skills. At best, we might put a few of our people at the top—only to see them bypassed or marginalised. Besides, the hegemonic function of the BBC is not confined to its programming. It also gives employment to people who might under our management be scrupulously impartial, but who would continue using their status and contacts to fight us in other media.
Nor do I think privatisation a good idea. As said, the BBC is a great broadcasting organisation. Freed from state control, it might easily grow larger and richer and more powerful. This would not necessarily diminish its control by the Enemy Class—look at CNN and the other American networks. Therefore, it must be destroyed, its copyrights transferred to a successor company for licensing to other broadcasters.
Turning to these other broadcasters, we should as a matter of course abolish all the licensing and regulatory bodies that presently guide their activities. This would destroy more Enemy Class jobs and power, and allow viewers to get more of the programmes they really wanted. It would also lead to a rapid expansion of private broadcasting, in which many of the sacked from the BBC would find new jobs. I see no reason here for concern: moved into different cultural environments, people often behave differently. Even if some Enemy Class influence did remain, it would not be our business to intervene further. Our media policy should be to destroy a hegemonic grip, not establish one of our own. That is why I will say nothing about the newspapers. What they choose to publish is beyond the normal sphere of government concern. This being said, it would be interesting to see how long The Guardian stayed in business without its daily subsidy from advertising jobs in the public sector.
Our education policy would need to be more complex. On the one hand, we should cut off all state funding to the universities. We might allow some separate transitional support for a few science departments. But we should be careful not to allow another penny of support for any Economics or Law or Sociology or Government and Politics department, or for any course with the words "media", "gender", or "ethnicity" in its name. Doubtless, many students would be upset to lose their chance of getting a degree; but we could find some compensation for them—and, bearing in mind the mixture of worthless knowledge and Enemy Class indoctrination from which we would be saving them, they would not suffer on balance.
On the other hand, we would have to keep the schools open—not because their teaching is needed, but because of their childminding function. Most people would neither notice nor care about losing things like the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy, but they would object to having to find somewhere else to put their little ones during the day. Therefore, the schools would stay open. The compulsory attendance laws would be abolished, and encouragement given to the founding of independent schools—a voucher scheme might be useful here. But state education would continue for the moment. The schools in each area would be put under the absolute rule of boards of guardians. These would be chosen by lot from qualified candidates, and empowered to collect a local rate to pay for their activities. The purpose here is not to improve state education - though that could easily be the effect—but to insulate it from the Enemy Class. This is also the purpose of avoiding elections to the boards—as these would soon be corrupted by organised minorities.
The Welfare State
Something we should leave substantially alone is the welfare state. The main assumption behind which the Enemy Class justifies its looting of the taxpayers is that any cuts in public spending must fall on the welfare budget. Of course, it is a false assumption, but it does not help that libertarians have always made a great noise about the corrupting effects of state welfare, and that libertarian schemes of improvement always give prominence to privatising or abolishing it. This shows a failure of political understanding. All else aside, it would be madness to give the Enemy Class an issue on which it might claw its way back from oblivion. It may be regrettable, but most people in England like welfare. They like the thought that if they lose their jobs, they will receive some basic support, and that if they fall ill, they will receive treatment free at the point of use. That is what is wanted, and that is what a government of the right must continue providing.
It need not actually be very expensive. Most people would rather work than claim; and in a free economy, there would be no lack of work. As for the National Health Service, the main expenses here come from structures that currently exist only to divert funding to or through the hands of the Enemy Class. Strip these out, and the costs might come substantially down. I would suggest privatisation of all medical services—though paid for by the State, these do not have also to be provided by it—and radical deregulation of all the medical professions: such regulation does not work, and never was intended to work, in the interests of patients.
Here, it is worth a brief mention of the private charities. The right has long regarded these as somehow separate from and superior to the State. This is not presently so. The most prominent charities —Oxfam, the RSPCA, the NSPCC, and so forth—are run and staffed by the Enemy Class. They wrap themselves in the mantle of selflessness while pushing an almost wholly political agenda. As they are private bodies, it might not be advisable to shut them down by direct means. But we should reform the charity laws, so that the only organisations able to claim charitable status would be those unambiguously devoted to feeding soup to tramps and looking after foundlings.
Coming back to state welfare, it would even be in our interests to increase some benefits. Adding up all the cuts suggested above we must easily have about a hundred billion pounds. This would fund a huge tax cut. We could also start paying the old something like the income they used to be promised. We could, for example, guarantee every pensioner in the country a minimum income of £8,000. Assuming a retired population of five million, and an average subsidy of £3,000 per head, the cost would be £15 billion a year - about the same as is now spent on letting the Enemy Class play at improving housing, heritage and the environment. With further spending cuts elsewhere, we could in later years raise the subsidy to £10,000. Even without limiting the right to subsidy to those now over forty, this would not impose a crippling burden. Most talk of the "pensions timebomb" proceeds on the assumption that the £150 billion now absorbed by the Enemy Class is an untouchable first charge on the taxpayers. Raising pensions would be just. It would be widely popular. And it would give millions of already conservative electors good reason to keep voting for us. We could explain that the subsidy was only payable because of our attack on the Enemy Class, and that the restoration of that class would mean the ending of the subsidy.
Creating Irreversible Change
A restoration is worth guarding against in the early days. Since I do not imagine killing anyone, not all the Enemy Class would be out of work or otherwise neutered. The leading members would retain their personal wealth, their contacts with each other, ordinary access to the media, and control of the main opposition parties. There would also still be modish businessmen like Richard Branson, who might take some while to realise that their interests were no longer served by advancing Enemy Class interests. These would be watching for any opportunity to overturn us and our revolution. This being so, we should avoid giving them issues to exploit, and we should work to build and consolidate support for our revolution. Nevertheless, I see good automatic reasons why any restoration should become progressively less to be feared.
First, the tax cuts and deregulation that smashing the Enemy Class allowed would within five years make England the richest and most powerful country in Europe. Because we have grown up not knowing anything better, it is hard to understand exactly how constrained we presently are. A genuine rolling back of the State would produce a burst of economic growth taking us into a world as different from this one as the worst housing estate in Liverpool is from Surrey. The 20th century would then be seen as the statist nightmare that it was, and the Enemy Class that did so much to produce that nightmare would be correspondingly rejected.
Second, any attempt at restoring the Enemy Class would need a big rise in taxes. When the Conservatives abolished the Greater London Council, few voters noticed a fall in their domestic rates. Now it has been re-established by New Labour, I doubt if there will be much outrage over the rise in council tax. This is because the changes in tax were small in proportion to the whole. But the cuts I suggest would let income tax be cut to about 10 per cent, and other taxes be altogether abolished. Refunding the Enemy Class would mean reversing these cuts. It took a long time for the Enemy Class to achieve its current position. It needed the excuse of two world wars to increase taxes, and then years of holding high taxes steady as a proportion of an expanding national income. Once cut down, there would be little electoral support for increasing these taxes again.
Third, even if we did lose an election, the Enemy Class would face an administrative mountain before it could re-establish itself. It could repeal all our acts of abolition, but this would no more bring back the abolished institutions than repealing the Government of India Act 1946 could bring back the Raj. The buildings and other assets would have been sold. The more effective workers would have disappeared into other employments. Above all, the records would have been destroyed. An hour in front of a shredding machine can ruin the work of 20 years; and we would have been feeding these machines day and night. All correspondence, all adjudications and other decisions, all internal memoranda and personnel records—in short, everything that gives effectiveness to a bureaucratic institution—would have irretrievably vanished. The Enemy Class might re-enact the statutes under which, say, English Heritage had operated, but would have nothing more to start with than a name, a bitterly contested grant of the taxpayers' money, and a few dozen filing clerks too useless to have found jobs elsewhere. At the very worst for us, it would take the Enemy Class a generation to get back to the position it now enjoys.
Information: The Health of the Enemy Class
Following from this, I suggest that our government of the right should stop gathering and publishing official information. We should want no more censuses, or balance of payments statistics, or epidemiological surveys—no more government reports or future projections. Though useful to historians, none of this is essential to the sort of government we on the right wish to run; and all of it is at least potentially dangerous to that government. Information is the health of the Enemy Class. It provides the factual underpinning of its legitimising ideologies. Much of this information is unproven or untrue—look at the claims about global warming or the harmful effects of passive smoking. Much of the rest is true in the technical sense, but is so selective and deprived of context that it does not qualify as information. Look at the statistics on drinking and driving. The dangers are exaggerated by including accidents that involve drunken pedestrians and passengers; and no comparative figures are gathered on the possibly worse effects of driving while tired or after drinking large amounts of coffee. What we have here is an example of socially constructed knowledge. It looks like neutral fact, but really exists to support some ideological bias: in this case, it exists to support an attack on the alcohol industry and to make the rest of us feel guilty about enjoying the products of that industry.
Such knowledge is collected by government bodies, and then fed to the media via fake charities. It is used to create a moral panic about a chosen issue. The politicians then act as if pressured by public opinion into doing something oppressive or stupid or both. Our first big attack on the Enemy Class should destroy most of the really dangerous government bodies, and the formally private bodies that now cluster round them would perish like tapeworms in a dead rat. But we should systematise our attack on official information, and make sure that no more is collected. There will be no law to stop anyone from claiming how many Sikh leather fetishists die from drinking unpasteurised milk, and how this is somehow the fault of capitalism and racism. But he would need to collect his own figures and drum up his own support. Without public funding, and the legitimacy that it tends to confer, he would find himself in much the same position of influence as the man who used to wander round Leicester Square telling us to give up on meat and lustful thoughts.
Mildly Utopian Thoughts
I Come now to describing the kind of society that might emerge from our revolution. I must of necessity be vague. The right is a coalition, agreed only on general principles. Whatever settlement we made would depend on the relative weight at the time of our various parts. Moreover, much would depend on external circumstances. What we now regard as serious problems might turn out to be easily managed after the destruction of the Enemy Class. Equally, matters that we presently ignore might become pressingly serious. This being said, the outlines of our polity seem clear enough. Much effort would go into restoring as many of our historic institutions as could be saved. It should again be made plain to all of us and to any foreign visitors that this is England, a country quite unlike any other. Politics should be cleaned up, power mostly decentralised; and there should be an almost paranoid concern about the right to peaceful enjoyment of life, liberty and property.
Our legal reforms would tend on the civil side to make the law simpler and cheaper and more accessible, though without the wholesale borrowing from the Roman tradition that we are now experiencing. On the criminal side, we should abolish all remaining laws not directed against force or fraud or needed to preserve a narrowly defined national security. This done, we should impose harsh, deterrent penalties for the real crimes that remained—though with all the ancient procedural safeguards of trial by jury, presumption of innocence, right to silence, right against double jeopardy, and so forth, that are now half abolished or set for abolition.
Our tax policy should be to take as little as possible, and to ensure that this was collected in the least burdensome and intrusive manner. I would like to see the abolition of both income tax and VAT and their replacement with property rates and customs duties. These are simple to assess and collect, and cannot be used to justify the sort of financial inquisition that we now have. For the first few years of our settlement, it would be necessary to keep some of the older taxes to help pay of the welfare state. In time, however, reduced need for this, and higher tax yields from a richer English people, should let us remove the last traces of fiscal rapacity.
In short, our domestic policies should ensure that once again, "a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman".
Turning to foreign policy, we should work towards isolationism. At first, we might need an understanding with Russia to disappoint what ambitions the European Union still had. We might also find ourselves in dispute with the Americans because of our rejection of all New World Order treaties. But these would not be long term problems. I suggested above that we should abolish the Foreign Office. This is partly because it is a citadel of the Enemy Class with much status at home and abroad, and because those in it have not noticeably advanced any national interest that I can think of during the past hundred years. Setting up a new Foreign Department, with new structures and new personnel, might deprive us of some useful experience, but would give us a more selfish and therefore rational set of relationships with the rest of the world.
I have referred throughout this manifesto to England. This is because I do not know if the United Kingdom would survive our revolution. Scotland is ruled far more absolutely than England by the Enemy Class, and it lacks the cultural bias to libertarianism that prevents England from becoming a complete police state. It might, therefore, be convenient to abolish the Union. Scotland would not, in any meaningful sense, become independent. It would remain a poor, underpopulated satellite of England: as it was before 1603, the wealthiest and most important player in Scotch politics would again be the English Ambassador. As well as upholding England's interest, his bribes and occasional threats would do much to keep the country from its traditional oscillation between anarchy and a grimly corrupt despotism.
Whatever happened with Scotland, I would be inclined to restore the Unionist ascendency in Ulster. Given will, the military defeat of Sinn Fein/IRA would not be hard. Nor would it be hard to remind the Irish Republic of its proper station in the world. I have often wondered why Irish terrorism in England and Ulster has not led to Unionist reprisals in the Republic. Now that Dublin is a modest financial centre, it might be interesting to see the effect of a few bank bombings on Irish support for Sinn Fein/IRA.
Liberty and Tradition
I do not care at all to discuss the private arrangements of this society. Describing the paving stones of Utopia is something best left to the totalitarians. I do not know how people would choose to live in a really free and wealthy country. They might want to go hunting in the morning and listen to string quartets in the evening, though I doubt this. I suspect that most would rather get married, have children, and stay married, leading lives that intellectuals would consider utterly dull. A few might want to live in free love communes, or play very dangerous sports, or whatever. I can only say is that there would be no government barriers to their living as they pleased.
What little I have said in the past few paragraphs might indicate that I am looking to a predominantly libertarian settlement. This is true. But freedom is a large part of the English tradition. If our tradition involved things like slavery, female circumcision and a rigid caste system, the settlement I am imagining would have no support from conservatives. But, of course, the English tradition is about things like equality before the law, trial by jury, freedom of the press, and the pursuit of commercial advantage. English conservatives may not agree with everything that libertarians believe, but the institutions they want to preserve are broadly libertarian. Moreover, even if a powerful state run by conservatives might do more to preserve tradition than my recommended system of semi-laissez-faire, such a state is not currently on offer. For at least the foreseeable future, a powerful state in England must be run by the Enemy Class. At least markets only reject traditions that have ceased to be useful, and the rest survive. There may come a time when libertarians and conservatives will find themselves seriously divided. But for the moment, they are natural allies against the Enemy Class.
The True Legacy of Margaret Thatcher?
Now I will end the fantasy. I do not currently see any party of the right in this country, and I certainly do not see any that is likely to win an election. The Conservative Party under its present leadership has no other ambition than to lie its way into office with a mass of vague promises, while assuring the Enemy Class that no real changes will be made.
Yet the revolution that I describe would not be that difficult, given sufficient will. There is discontent with the Enemy Class on a scale that has never before existed. It simply needs focussing. And, in spite of their failures to deliver what the right hoped for, the last Conservative governments did make reforms that separated the useful parts of the economy from those run purely by and for the Enemy Class. In surgical terms, the Enemy Class in England is a large tumour that can be cut out with little damage to the rest of the body. In other countries—France, for example—it remains so intermingled with what is useful and even necessary, that an operation is too long and complex for any but the most resolute or desperate surgeon. Margaret Thatcher did not roll back the frontiers of the State. But she did prepare the ground for others to do it.